I kind of stopped keeping a close ear on music and musical trends a lot of years ago, so I will very rarely champion new music, but when I find something I like it’s only fair that I throw some light upon it.
Dirty Honey may sound like a porn site (and I’d probably like that too) but it’s actually an American four-piece rock band that could be the musical lovechild of Guns ‘n’ Roses and AC/DC.
The lead singer Marc LaBelle is extremely reminiscent of Axl Rose back in the raw days of Appetite for Destruction, so much so that you’d be forgiven for thinking it was just an impression, rather than a serious attempt at making a musical statement.
If you enjoy old fashioned rock sounds, there’s a very good chance their music will strike a chord with you.
I’m sure they’ve been plying their craft for a while, but being relatively new to the public consciousness they don’t have a huge back catalogue to listen to, but check out their track When I’m Gone and let me know what you think.
I reckon you’ll be hearing more about them before too long.
The Final Countdown – Europe – 1986
There was a good period of time when I was a kid, that I thought The Final Countdown was the coolest song ever recorded. Thirty years later, big hair and tight leather pants aside… it’s still pretty hard to argue against it.
This song reminds me of evenings playing pool and board games in the local kids’ club. The first time I played air guitar was to the solo in The Final Countdown, and you always have a soft spot for your first one.
I liked a lot of Europe’s music, but other than this song – which was one of the biggest singles released in 1986 – they never really made much of an impression on the charts. Europe was a greatly underappreciated hard rock band, but they existed in a genre that was quite crowded in the late eighties and unfortunately for them, Bon Jovi, Metallica, and Guns N’ Roses took the lion’s share of the attention.
Actually, The Final Countdown is really a sparse song with very little to it. There are not many words, and what there is is unimaginative and meaningless. Usually a song will hook you with the chorus, but here the chorus is almost non-existent, so the hook comes from the intro and that memorable rhythm. Thankfully, that has stood the test of time, and The Final Countdown is as cool now as it ever was.
I Remember You – Skid Row – 1990
Skid Row had a few hits in the late eighties and early nineties, but unfortunately for them, they were around at the same time as mainstream rock juggernauts Bon Jovi and Guns N Roses, so that was never going to be good for their longevity or success. Now they are little more than a footnote in the history books.
Having said that, I Remember You, which is taken from their self-titled 1989 debut album, and is quite possibly their most widely known song, is unequivocally one of the best power ballads of the year. It didn’t crack the top 5 in the US, barely made it into the top 40 in the UK, and topped out at number 12 in Australia, which is where I learned to love this song as a teenager… back when the charts meant something.
Yes, as you would expect, the song is all big hair and sweeping guitar solos, but give it a chance if that’s not your thing – lead singer Sebastian Bach’s soaring vocals are up there with the very best in the hard rock genre.